I recently purchased Bowflex’s new entry to the home gym market – the Revolution.
Before I get started, I want to let you know that I am not a Bowflex employee – never have been. I am not being compensated for this article; I am just a fitness enthusiast that wanted to share my experience with you so you can make an intelligent buying decision when it comes to this unit.
I was disappointed that you couldn’t try the machine out before purchasing it – I bought a Smooth Fitness Elliptical machine that fell short of the mark about a year ago without having a chance to use it first, but that’s another article. I would strongly recommend that you use and get comfortable with any piece of exercise equipment before investing in it. In Bowflex’s case, that’s not possible – something the executives over there should seriously think about. Bowflex allows you to try the machine out for 6 weeks, but let’s be honest guys – the machine comes in five gigantic boxes. Re-boxing all of the equipment in the exact boxes that it came in and getting it ready to be shipped is going to be a painful, arduous task I wouldn’t wish on anyone.
Before you make any buying decisions, I suggest you look online for nonbiased reviews like this one. Look for professional trainer’s opinions as well as amateurs like me. Here are a couple of points I thought you should know about before you decide to buy…
The Bowflex Revolution would be a good fit for you:
- Bulky, heavy machine, don’t move it or lift it unless it’s necessary
- Switching attachments and adding plates can be a little bit of a nuisance but you can get quicker with this over time. Don’t be fooled by the commercials and DVD, it’s not that easy to move from exercise to exercise – but you will get faster over time.
- There is a learning curve with the exercises, have some patience when you first get the machine. It took me about 2-3 work outs before I started to feel comfortable and efficient
- The markings on the plates should have been more obvious. The graphics look good on the plates but the numbers should have been larger so they are readable from a distance. Perhaps they might have color coded them.
- I often had to check to see how much weight I had on each side of the machine – too bad there wasn’t a display on the front of the machine that told you how much resistance there was on each arm
- Bowflex is slow in sending out the order, they indicated they would provide an email and a phone call when the unit shipped – they did neither in my case
- Putting the Revolution took about 1.5 – 2 hours to do. It does require some ingenuity and elbow grease to get everything assembled. When I was done I needed a shower and a long break.
- The bench has only 2 positions: incline and flat, no variations in between
- Attaching the footplate leg press accessory is a pain in the rear. It’s bulky and it’s heavy. For some people, attaching the footplate can be dangerous.
Here’s the Bottom Line:
Yes, knowing what I know now about the Revolution, I still would have purchased it. It was a pain in the butt to assemble, find room for and learn to use, but I think it’s a quality machine. There are certainly some drawbacks to the machine, but for under $3000 and still fitting in a normal size home – this was a good buy for the intermediate/advanced fitness enthusiast that either can’t get to the gym or wants to supplement his/his workouts. I hope this article has been helpful to you, best of luck in your decision.